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Why So Defensive?0

By Tibor Shanto

While sales people would have you believe they are a confident lot, able to get others to see their view and follow them with comfort.  But when you watch them in play, on the sales field with the buyer, their behaviour comes across quiet differently.  For the most part, they behave with great insecurity and defensiveness often not experiences since grade school.

Watch how sellers respond to objections; any objections, while prospecting, during discovery, or at the end of the cycle.  The average sales person falls apart at the sign or even hint of an objection.  Even before the buyer completes their thought, sellers jump in to defend their position.  Because nothing says, “I am seeking to understand you, your requirements and objectives”; than a seller jumping on their sentence, not hearing their full thought, and throwing up a canned defense of something the prospect didn’t really mention.

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Selling To Sybil0

By Tibor Shanto

I always find it amusing listening to sales people or marketing people talk about buyer persona, seems half have no idea what the word means, and if not for fashion could care less.  I worked with a company that had very clear and detailed outline of the various personas (or is it personae?), they sold to, each based most on their corporate roles.  At the same time, another company equated “persona” to title, a great example of someone using “persona” for fashion.

While the former was better, they still missed the mark in a couple of common ways.  First is the propensity to work with personas based on “Title”, or corporate roles, mostly hierarchical.  There is no doubt that these are important attributes of any given sale, “persona”, a bit of a stretch, a cool one, but a stretch nonetheless.

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Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at

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What If I Hadn’t Called?0

By Tibor Shanto

As most of you know I am a regular proponent of making cold calling part of your prospecting mix.  Beyond the logic of expanding your tool kit to include all things that lead to engagement, how you engage with your prospects will very much inform and shape the conversation you have with prospects.   The dynamics of an inbound call are very different than those on a call that interrupts and disrupts their day, and their current direction.

When I cold call someone, and get the appointment, I have an advantage over others.  Namely, the prospect has clearly indicated that they have an interest in the areas I raised in the initial cold call, but unlike those “57% of the journey buyers”, they haven’t started down a path.  This allows me, as the subject matter expert, to explore in a much more proactive fashion than with a buyer who comes to me with preconceptions and a “product” they are looking for already in mind.  Cold callers end up selling to a much more curious, and open-minded buyer.

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New Dogs – Old Tricks0

By Tibor Shanto

While politics may be dominating populism these days, it does not hold a monopoly on populism, it is part of, if not the driving force for any like-minded group.  While most tend to limit their exploration of populism to political and social movements, populism, with all it’s positive possibilities and ugly realities, permeates and exists in other tribal groups and movements, like sales.  While others may want to define in loftier ways, in the end, populism at its core, should be “support for the concerns of ordinary people”; unfortunately for those who want to exploit it, it is more a means of “profiting from the concerns (and hopes) of ordinary people, while ensuring that their status will not change in a way that diminishes their opportunity to profit from the concerns of the ordinary”.

A great example of this in sales is the never-ending cry from certain corners, proclaiming, announcing or predicting the death of Cold Calling.  The meanest of these are those who predict, and put that prediction just beyond people’s willingness to remember.

Speaking of which, isn’t it about time we dust off all the predictions from last December and see who wins – loses – draws and who cares.

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What Kind Of Sales Year will 2018 Be?0

By Tibor Shanto

As we head into 2018, we are heading into a year that could make the current economic cycle the longest since the great depression.  Currently the longest is the 120 months, from March 1991 to March 2001.  This could well mean that there is more than a real possibility that the next 12 – 18 months will see an economic slowdown, at the same time many market pundits also point to age of the current bull market, and real possibility of a pull back.

There is little or no doubt that this will impact all of us in sales.  How it impacts organizations and individual reps will vary based on a number of factors.

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Tell Them It’s OK To Say NO!0

By Tibor Shanto

No one like to be the bearer of bad news, this includes buyers.  I know some sellers may find that hard to believe, but even when another product aligns better with their objectives, human nature kicks in, and delivering the news that you lost, is not pleasant for most buyers.  So what do they do, they either pass the buck to someone else, like procurement, or avoid your call for weeks, hoping you’ll eventually get the hint; or any number of ways to avoid an unpleasant task.

Goes without saying, they don’t have the same issues saying yes, and mostly because they have been conditioned to understand that sellers look for YES, and try to avoid NO.  But once you get beyond the cultural hang ups, NO is probably the best response one can get, as long as they are ready for it, and prepared to deal with it.

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3 Sales Thanksgiving Turkeys0

By Tibor Shanto

While the president may be set to pardon a turkey today, I am not sure we should be so generous when it comes to some offences committed by some in sales.  While we may not be willing to pardon or forgive, it seems worthwhile to look at some turkey moves sellers, at times including myself, make in the course of their day.

Awesome

While there are many words used in sales that should be banned (not just from sales, but the planet), there are some that are just irritating and either confuse buyers, or put them off completely.  I have written about “empty calorie” words in sales, words like ‘productivity’, ‘solution’, or ‘efficiency’, and others.  I think we have done a good job of eradicating the use of ‘synergy’, we now need to apply the same discipline and focus on eliminating the word ‘Awesome’.

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Change Their Direction – Not Their Mind0

By Tibor Shanto

No one likes objections when prospecting, rejection in any form is never fun, but when it cost you money and opportunity, it’s even worse. If you are in sales, you need to quickly figure out how to best deal with objections in a way that leads to more opportunities.  Some choose to hide from it, using things like e-mail, where the rejection is less direct, in the form of no response, to the first or 15th attempt; personally, I prefer to deal with objections to lack of engagement or silence, mostly because they need to be dealt with, the question is how.  Most people deal with the wrong element of objects, and in the wrong way to boot.

First, and the hardest, is not taking things personally.  This is hard when you are invested in your in your success, your product, and your company.  Add to that the Kool Aide you’ve been made to consume before they wound you up and sent you out to conquer, and it can be devastating when someone your convinced is the perfect profile or “persona”, dismisses you, your message, and your new improved never before seen disruptive thingamajig, without even a second of consideration.

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Now Is The Time To Get Ahead Of Then0

By Tibor Shanto

With the end of the year in site, only six hopping Saturdays till Xmas, we sometimes face hard choices as to where to put our efforts.  Put everything we have in closing and renewing what’s here and now; or ensure that I am well set for the next quarter, or year.  Unfortunately, and often for all the wrong reasons, including guidance from a manager, the former wins out.  For professional sales people, this is business as usual, but it is that more pronounced, and much more at stake, at the end of the year.  Knowing this, we should always be looking at our time not in a linear way, now or then, but in a compartmental or sectioned way. Each section, focused on core activities, based on the here and now. This allows the calendar to be used to drive daily activities, not as cause for crisis 12 or four times a year.

You can start by looking at, and spending your time in an additional way.

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Be Easier To Believe0

By Tibor Shanto

No one is saying you are lying, I know you are not, but not lying and being believable are two different things.  For sellers, it is less about telling the truth, and more about believability; if the buyer doesn’t buy the information and materials to support your offering, no matter how accurate or factual, they aren’t buying.

I understand the challenge for proud marketing and sales professionals, especially those who may be breaking new ground, truly innovative, and driving measurable results for the clients.  This leads to bold statement, “Big and Audacious” claims, attention grabbing, but maybe not the attention you are looking for.  But if the buyers don’t trust the statement, not only do these statements lose impact, but they could work against you.

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MoversHey – We’re moving

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Our new home: www.TiborShanto.com. We’ll still keep things here for a while, but this same great post is also available at www.TiborShanto.com

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